Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
7,882 Ratings
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed as a Christmas beer in 1948, this dark ale has rich flavors of mulling spices and caramel, with a smooth palate and warming finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

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Ratings: 7,882 |  Reviews: 2,393
Photo of Buckettt
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Nice dark color. The head dissipated shortly after it was poured.

S- Sweet, fruity, malty. A strong smelling beer.

T- A dominating maltiness, with fruit notes. Very pleasing.

M- Very thin and very carbonated

O- I found it quite enjoyable, although I do prefer the taste of Victory's Golden Monkey when it comes to Belgian dark ales.

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Photo of Francepants06
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best of the chimays hands down. I poured it in my big chimay glass and got a head white to gray color.The look of this beer was dark orange to light brown. After the first sip of this beer, I couldn't stop till my glass was empty. It had a strong walnut, pecan, chestnut, nutmeg taste. Man this is a good beer.

re-tasted the 2008 1.5 liter bottle and man this beer proves that with some age this beer can just melt on your palet.

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Photo of jamespub
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Brown with great carbonation. More carb than I've seen in other belgians of similar style. Great head that lingers and laces the glass beautifully.

S- dark fruits and malt. slight smell of alcohol, but not up there with roch 10.

T- Balanced. The alcohol is masked greatly. tastes of dark fruits, slightly bready, smooth as silk. the carbonation adds a lot to this beer. It is a unique carbonation that I haven't experienced yet.

M- great mouthfeel. once again, the carbonation is masterful. alcohol is hardly noticeable. the dark malts really shine through.

O- I simply waited too long to drink this beer. one of my top 5 belgians. thanks to imperial gout for sharing his 750. it paired very well with the filet. I have another bottle in the fridge I can't wait to crack open. I will probably hoard it I think I can manage the entire bottle over a few hours.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice very dark maroon- brown with a hint of red to it. A thin but quite present off-white head settles evenly across the top.

Sweet malts permeate the nose, lots of dark fruit. The smell of raisin and fig is noticeable. Belgian yeast is noticeable as well, along with a bit of alcohol. Very nice.

Taste is good, but a little disappointing after the nose, as it seems more subdued than the smell. The dark fruits are still up front, with sweet malt abounding, leaving a bit of a caramel taste. Alcohol is quite noticeable, and the finish is surprisingly dry.

Mouthfeel is a bit of a downer. Feels thinner than I would have expected, Carbonation is relatively high. Lacks the smoothness that I think would complement this beer.

I have had this beer a couple of times before, and remembering enjoying it more than I am now. Still very good, but not the gem that I recalled. Maybe either the bottle or I is off tonight!

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Photo of BrewmasterNate
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown with a solid inch of foam that coats the sides.

S: Fruity and earthy with some light carmel malty smells to it.

T: Eathy, fruity, with heavy dried fruit flavors. A bit spicy to the tongue.

M: Solid thick mouthfeel that coats and washes down.

O: Overall a good brew, but not my favorite of the belgians.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Very deep brown with reddish highlights around the edges. Nice very light tan head one finger which doesn't stick around for much.
S. Deep dark fruits including figs, raisins, plums, some oddball apple esters peppered on top. Occasionally hints of freshly cut juicy ripe heirloom tomatoes, but mostly when its warmed up to room temperature.
T. Predominantly raisin bread with dark fruit jam on top of it. Dried apricots come briefly to visit and say hello, than leave just as abruptly. Strange wisps of mulling spice float around on your tongue, keeping company with an oddball earthy / mushroomy umami high-protein finish. After some time aging in the cellar I find that the sugary cloying nature of the fresh product has dampened out into a better balance with the thick yeast flavor. 3 years old is my personal preference for drying out the sugars maybe about halfway only. Also, the boozey hotness retreats even further into the background.
M. Feels like an entire meal in liquid form. Heavy flavors on an medium-heavy body. But it doesn't get oily. It does, however, make a lasting coating on the surfaces of your mouth. If you don't like how it tastes, you will be stuck with it for a while. The flavors of this one stay with you and even influence the character of any food you might have for quite some time afterward. For better or for worse, everything tasted for 10 minutes or so gets a condiment dressing of the flavor of Chimay Grande Reserve, so plan accordingly.

This is a special treat to get once in a while when you have extra money to burn, but a little bit too expensive to justify having as a 'usual suspect' in the fridge. If possible, I recommend cellaring for a couple years to dry out the excessive sweetness, that is when it really hits its prime.

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Photo of vrushing88
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my third bottle of Chimay.

I poured this into my Chimay Goblet. It pours a dark reddish, violet body with a large head that dissipates slowly.

The aroma is laden with malt and fruit characteristics (dark belgian, probably amber malt, and dark grape, tomato, fruits).

It tastes sweet at first, filling your mouth with strong fruit characteristics, and amber/caramel malt. It tappers off into a smooth tomato finish. It ends with a nice bitter flavor of light tomato and grape flesh.

It feels light, and airy, with complex heavy flavors. By far one of the best beers I have ever had the privilege to taste.

Highly recommend, especially with a nice meal, or post-meal.

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Photo of OliverTweek
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had Chimay many times before I decided to review it. It really was one of the first "higher class" beers I had. It wasn't until I had more that I realized how great of a beer I truly had.

Look: A nice, very bright caramel color, with a nice creamy, almost walnut colored head. While very carbonated, it is an easy pour that looks crisp and smooth.

Smell: I saw someone else on this site reference "figs" and I think that hits it dead on. A very sweet but not overpowering odor. Along with the figs, there are nutty, creamy, and slight coffee hints.

Taste: A very complex flavor, and a rich, earthy, sweet taste. The after taste is much more fruity than the initial one, very cirtrusy but both are great. You can certainly taste the alcohol, but unlike other beers with a similar abv, it doesn't overpower the beer, but compliments it.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is just right, not too bubbly, but not too flat. A little heavier than I would have liked, but with so much going on, it's not a detraction.

Overall: One of the best beers I've had, and certainly one of my favorites. There really is very little I can say bad about it, every thing seems to be in perfect balance.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It's interesting how so many reviewers, both on this site and in reference material, taste different things in this beer. Here's what I got. Poured a massive ecru colored head which settled to lacing and traces. Color is a deep russet, almost cider-like. Smell has malt, raisins, figs, or basically dark dried fruits. Taste has more of the same and it's quite rich. There's an acidic zing which persists in one of the longest lasting finishes I've ever had in a beer. Clearly this deserves the world class status it holds. Of course I'd prefer if it were cheaper. And what I don't get from it, which I've seen other reviewers claim, is plum, pear, honey, or bubblegum. Say what?

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Photo of Tartarus
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a tulip.

A&S: Pours an opaque reddish brown with about two fingers of head that bubbles and disappates quickly leaving small patches of bubbles along the edges of the glass. Smells of fruit and malts.

T&M: There is a lot going on with the taste: tons of fruitiness, a little hops, malts, a very delicious blend of flavors that mask the alcohol content well. Mouthfeel is very bubbly, carbonated, and light.

O: Very delicious. Very pricey, but very delicious.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay Goblet, both purchased from

Pours a lovely dark brown colour, looks quite well carbonated and isn't too thick.

Smells sweet, fruity and spicy. Very exotic for this English bitter drinker.

The taste is very complex, all the aforementioned smells blending in with a slight hoppiness, and the lightness of the texture makes it very drinkable. It's how I would imagine a fruitcake in beer form would taste!

Overall a very, very good beer. Beers like this really uphold the Trappist reputation for amazing complex brews. With any luck I should be getting my hands on some more soon.

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Photo of djsmith1174
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark, opaque brown with massive tan head that hangs around for some time.

S - Wonderful. Smells of sweet figs, dates, yeast and hint of spice.

T- Tastes as it smells without being overly sweet.

M - Medium body with a ton of carbonation.

O - Impressed with this one as I had anticipated. Definitely a staple that I will return to from time to time.

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Photo of lennerja
4.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy brown color with a one inch head that dissipates leaving almost no lacing.

S- Smell is of sweet sugar and dark fruits with some notes from the yeast and a slight spiciness as well.

T- This beer is rich and sweet with a strong flavor of dark fruits and a slight yeasty flavor. It ends with a slight spiciness.

M- It has a medium body with a huge amount of carbonation.

O- This beer is sweet and rich with a nice balance of spice and dark fruit flavors.

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Photo of JohnnyP3
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

.33L Bottle of the 2010 vintage with a best before end of 2015 freshness dating. Poured into a C&B Belgian beer glass. Pours a cloudy brown with some orange hues on the edge. The head is about one finger of foam and quickly dissipates. I could see quite a bit of sediment that exited from the bottle into the glass.

The nose is sweet and sugary and malted goodness. Reminds me a bit of fresh pastries coming out of the oven. Perhaps some hints of fruit in the nose as well, such as pear, prunes, raisons.

Taste is a delicious boozy sweetness. Brown sugar, molasses, and some caramel. Leaves a nice lingering sweetness on the tongue. Mix in some candied fruits like apricots and dates. Crisp, dry, sugary finish is delightful. Hands down the best of this style I have had.

Mouthfeel, again, is crisp and dry. Carbonation is active and contributes to the crispness at the end. The boozy sweetness creates a nice coating in the mouth and on the lips. Overall a very pleasurable Belgian Strong Dark Ale and one of my favorite beers overall.

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Photo of muskabeatz
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 330ml bottle. I believe this is only the second time I've ever had this. I was driving around with this in my car earlier, so it may have been a bit shaken up, because this one was a bit of a gusher.

A- Rich mahogany in color, with an off-white/faint khaki head that plumes to two fingers above the body of the beer. The head subsides leaving a thin covering over top of the beer that is dancing with carbonation. Very pretty.

S- This throws out a burst of malt and raw grain up front that is interlaced with brown sugar, raisins, and prunes. There is only the slightest presence of alcohol in the background. The aroma is nice, but could be a bit more pronounced.

T- Similar to the smell, but with a much more noticeable yeast presence, and a faint bitterness on the finish. The yeast embodies everything that comes to mind when thinking "belgian" or "trappist", however, I wouldn't have guessed it to taste this good based on the smell.

M- Lively carbonation that's a little overbearing until the beer settles for a bit. A little more than medium bodied.

O- Overall, a very respectable, very drinkable beer. I have one that I'm going to put in the cellar until I can't stand to keep it down there anymore, and I'll see what it turns into.

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Photo of BobZ
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided that after drinking this beer (seemingly) forever, it was finally time to review it.

750ml Bottle, Poured into my Duvel Tulip. Bottle dated 5/10 therefore, it is a year old.

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, nice head that builds initially to about an 1” to 2” but quickly recedes to a nice frothy ¼”, good lacing.

Smell: Nicely complex, some sweet dark fruit, the expected Belgian yeast, and mild phenols.

Taste: Delicious beer, complex, balanced with the dark fruit up-front, mild hoppy bitterness on the finish. A great example of the Trappist SDA/Quad, in fact perhaps the perfect gateway to the style.

Mouth feel: Aggressively carbonated but remains fairly smooth.

Overall: Very drinkable, delicious Belgian SDA.

Like for many this was my gateway to the wonderful world of both the Trappist beers and Belgian strong dark ales / quads in general. It’s a very good beer; however, for the money there are so many better beers. In fact it is at the bottom of the Trappist SDA’s, which is not an insult as it is the least of a series of great beers.

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Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A- It pours a ruddy brown and is topped with five inches of tan head.

S - I'm not getting a strong aroma. What I get is some Belgian yeast and soap.

T - The taste is Belgian yeast and caramelized malt.

M - Biting carbonation

O - It's a good beer. I have others in this style that I have preferred though.

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Photo of rundocrun
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a medium-brown color with very faint red highlights when held up to the light. Yields a finger of off-white head. Small amounts of lacing on the glass.

S - Raisins and dark candy-like sweetness. A somewhat spicy note is detectable reminiscent of cloves, cinnamon and molasses. I would almost compare the aroma to a rum-soaked spice cake.

T - Again, raisins and other dark dried fruits are immediately noticeable. Some dry, toasted grains are percieved through the middle and finish. I get a very mild hop bitterness toward the finish as well.

M - Good, balanced carbonation that sparkles all the way to the finish. Medium-to-thick bodied with a drier finish.

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Photo of manitouman84
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Classic belgian. Pours a cloudy mahogany with a light head. Lots of complexity to the flavor. Blueberries, plum, fig and toffee are all present. Light to Medium body beer, dry with slight sweet malt presence in the finish that balances phenolics and alcohol very very well. Exciting on the tongue with lots of carbonation, as to be expected for this style of beer. Little to no hop presence, dark fruits and esters to the aroma.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark brown color with a 1 inch bone colored head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. No lacing whatsoever. There is lots of sediment floating around in this beer, which I assume is the yeast. Smells of dark fruits (especially raisins), brown sugar, caramel, and malty bread notes. Taste is lots of dark fruits (again with the raisins), caramel/brown sugar, and some malt. Beer has a good carbonation level and is bubbly and crisp. Overall, this is a great BSDA and another great beer from Chimay.

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Photo of HaysAmerica
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a small bottle (11.2oz) into the signature Chimay chalice. Pours a nice deep ruby hue but some of the dregs, well most of them, made their way into the glass. Had this once in my beer cellar for several months (less than 12 but more than 4) before cracking this one open. Head starts well & then goes away pretty click. Smells of prunes, dates, very dark fruit. Decent carbonation.

Taste is in line w/ the smell. Dark fruit, very complex! Sweet, malty, tart finish. No hop presence really. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Lovely, just lovely. I kinda expected an aggressive beer but this is very sublime. I keep thinking of dates when I sip on this. There are just so many things going on here that it's very hard to describe.

Mouthfeel is thick. Not chewy, but thick - full bodied for sure. And as for drinkability, it's a high for me. I'd say that this is one to take your time on. Very drinkable, but savor this. Prosit!!

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Photo of Keffa
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Winerak in Zanesville, OH.

Live review.

Bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark amber/mahogany color, 1 finger tan/off white head, settles into a small ring around the glass. Some very light legs on the glass when it's tilted. Very little light passes through when held to light.

S: Raisins, booze, caramel, dark brown sugar, and a very faint floral note. The booze notes are somewhat subdued, but are still detectable.

T: Very close to the nose. Rum soaked raisins is the first thing that comes to my palate, followed by a very faint bready, doughy malt. Some caramel, dark brown sugar, and then booze decides to sneak out of the background and make itself known. Jeez, there's some alcohol heat here.

M: Low carbonation, medium body, a little creamy.

O: This is pretty damned good. Pricey and boozy, hard to make me buy it again.

Certainly good though.

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Photo of atomicbeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Cloudy medium brown with red reflections. Sediments pour out and settle to bottom. Small light tan head with a small eruption at the center that persists. The aroma is boozy rum soaked fruit cocktail of berries (earthy blueberries and raisins/currants) and bananas. Clove and banana come out with warming. The taste is rum fruit. The 9% alcohol blends well. Tasty.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chimay Blue

A- pours a very dark and cloudy brown that resembles murky water (in a good way). Less than a fingers worth of off white head that dissipates quick.

The nose brings an array of dark fruits. Plum, fig, and raisin. Some sweet bready malt scents flower through as well. The alcohol is well hidden.

The taste offers mass for my palate. Where to begin? The dark fruits noticed in the nose blast my senses and are much more definable at this point. Apples and bananas throughout. Some earthy notes are noticed alongside some bready flavors.

The mouthfeel is crisp and delightful, yet full bodied and beastly. Well rounded to say the least.

Overall, great flavors mixed with balance and mass enjoyability. Thank you Mr. Monk

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Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review #600 last night, I thought this would be a nice way to go, a classic Trappist ale.

A- Dark red with some haze and a huge off-white head. Great retention and size seems to be a Trappist tradition. Big pillow leaves spotty Belgian lace.

S- Dark brown sugar malt, raisins, dark cherry fruit and a nice Belgian yeast profile to round it all out, some spice and bread.

T- Good balance of Belgian yeast (bread, spice, coriander, clove), brown sugar malts and dark fruit. Nutty, floral, apple, grape, apricot and sweet hints in there as well.

MF- Insanely foamy and carbonated, like champagne level. The cork pretty much shot out like a gun so I was expecting it. Some bitterness.

The only complaint is the huge carbonation, it really ends up drinking like foam instead of liquid but that is minor problem because the flavors are nice. I would be interested to try this on tap.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 7,882 ratings